Energy Star Homes are independently verified to meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Each home that earns the Energy Star label can keep 4,500 lbs of greenhouse gases out of the air each year.
of an ENERGY STAR home include:
- Lower utility costs
- Higher resale value
- Increased comfort and indoor air quality
- Helps protect the environment
The Energy Star rating process starts with the blueprints and ends with the final evaluations and the Energy Star Certification.
1. Plans are analyzed prior to construction
Manor Homes has an independent licensed Energy Star rating company conduct three inspections
in all of the homes Manor builds. First, the blueprints are analyzed along with the building components used to make sure the house will meet Energy Star criteria before breaking ground.
2. Thermal Bypass Checklist
Second, a pre-drywall/post insulation
"Thermal Bypass Inspection" of common construction areas where air can flow through or around insulation is done to insure that insulation and air sealing meets the Energy Star criteria.
The Energy Star Rater will evaluate the home once in the insulation phase prior to drywall.The Energy Star Rater and the Manor Homes construction superintendent will walk the home and go through inspection checklist to point out items that are reviewed and discuss facts on R-Value of insulation.
3. Blower Door Test
One of the important tools that Manor Homes uses is the blower door test to determine a home's air tightness.
Reasons for establishing the proper building tightness:
- Reducing energy consumption due to air leakage - heating or cooling the outdoors can waste 20 percent or more of the energy needed to heat or cool the home
- Avoiding moisture condensation problems
- Avoiding uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking in from the outdoors
- Making sure that the home's air quality is not contaminated by indoor air pollution.
A blower door is a powerful fan
that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air out of the house, causing a negative air pressure inside. The positive outside air pressure
then flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings alerting the builder on where to caulk, foam, and seal.
Blower doors consist of a frame and flexible panel that you can place in a doorway, a variable-speed fan, a manometer gauge, and a computer to measure the pressure differences inside and outside the home.
4. Infrared Camera
An infrared video camera makes an image that shows surface heat variations that can be used to help detect heat losses and air leakage in buildings.
For example: the camera can detect the warmth from studs through drywall and is able to show footprints in carpet from recent traffic paths
5. Low-E glass windows with Argon gas filled window panes
Low-e glass windows with argon gas represents one of the best, most proven means of making the home comfortable, lowering energy costs and protecting furniture, draperies and carpeting from damaging UV rays.
It makes the glass in the windows as much as three times more energy efficient than standard single glazed glass. Low-E, or low-emittance, coating is a nearly invisible metal film deposited on a window surface to reduce the U-factor by suppressing heat flow between the cooler and warmer panes of glass. Argon gas is a popular option here as well. Argon gas is a non-toxic, colorless gas that is heavier than oxygen. That additional weight means it moves slower than oxygen, thereby further reducing the thermal radiation process.
6. Low-voltage continuous run fans
Low-voltage continuous run fans improve indoor air quality by supplying continuous ventilation. Because Manor has tightened up their houses in the construction process, the fan is used to provide an increased comfort and indoor air quality by making sure that the home's air quality is not contaminated by indoor air pollution.
7. High Efficiency Furnaces, Air Conditioners and Hot Water Tanks
As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling.
Manor Homes installs a 13 SEER air conditioner that will save homeowner’s money on each month's electric bill. For example, a 13 SEER product:
- Delivers about 23% energy savings compared to 10 SEER models
- Delivers about 8% energy savings compared to 12 SEER models
AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency)
is the standard measurement of efficiency for gas and oil-fired furnaces. Given in percentages, this number tells how much of the fuel is used to heat the home and how much fuel is wasted. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency. AFUE ratings start at the minimum industry requirement of 78%. Manor Homes installs 92% AFUE rated furnaces in their homes to maximize the efficiency of their homes.
If you have an older furnace (with an AFUE of approximately 60%), you could save up to 40% on your heating bills by replacing it with a new high efficiency furnace. The cost to replace your old, inefficient furnace is paid back through lower utility bills.
Heating water accounts for approximately 15 percent of a home’s energy use. High
efficiency water heaters use 10 to 50 percent less energy than standard models,
saving homeowners money on their utility bills.
Manor Homes uses a hot water tank with a power vent with a fan to induce a draft that allows the heater to use more of the heat to heat the water instead of going up the flue.
8. Programmable Thermostats
Programmable thermostats automatically adjust the home's temperature settings, saving energy while the homeowner is away or sleeping. Programmable thermostats contain no mercury and are ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. They are more convenient and accurate than manual thermostats and improve your home’s comfort.
9. Energy Star Appliances
ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10–50% less energy and water than standard models. The money saved on utility bills can more than make up for the cost of a more expensive but more efficient ENERGY STAR appliance.
Energy Star appliance manufacturers must use standard test procedures developed by the US Department of Energy to prove the energy use and efficiency of their products. Test results are printed on a yellow EnergyGuide label. This label estimates how much energy the appliance uses, compares energy use of similar products, and lists approximate annual operating costs.
10. Energy Star Certificates
Once the house is built and tests are complete, the final Energy Star Certification is presented to the builder. The certificates are for the homeowner’s records or the permanent records of the house. The certificates have an Estimated Annual Energy Operating Cost for the house and include a blue adhesive Energy Star label which is intended to be adhered to the home’s electrical panel.
Click here to visit the Energy Star new home website